Puma Hybrid Runner

The Puma Hybrid Runner gets its name from the two technologies that its midsole utilizes. A full-length IGNITE foam unit is covered with hundreds of NRGY beads to create a brand new HYBRID technology. This results in underfoot cushioning that's equal parts comfortable, responsive, and highly durable. Enhancing the runner's level of comfort is a breathable knitted upper that wraps around the foot like a sock for greater support. It also features minimal overlays, a traditional lacing system, and a one-piece opening that allows for easier insertion and more accurate ankle support. Though certain aspects are in need of improvement, such as the shoe's overall level of traction, many fitness enthusiasts find this model to be a comfortable and versatile addition to their shoe collection.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons

-Eye-catching design

-Very responsive wear

-Lightweight and breathable

-Comfortable, sock-like fit

-Easy to put on


-Not for long distance runs

-Inconsistent traction

Key Features
Puma relies on a simple rubber compound to cover high-wear areas of the Hybrid Runner’s outsole. Aside from protecting the rest of the shoe against damage, it also works to provide better traction on road surfaces. This is achieved through its swirled tread pattern that follows the natural shape of the foot. Moderate flex grooves are also present throughout the sole in order to allow the runner to move their foot naturally.
Two of Puma’s best technologies were used to create the Hybrid Runner’s midsole unit. The first is a full-length IGNITE foam unit, which provides shock absorption and ensures a smoother heel-to-toe transition. The second is NRGY beads, which are embedded into the cushioning unit to ensure more durable support and even greater energy transfer. When combined the form the shoe’s HYBRID midsole technology. This gives the runner even greater cushioning and responsiveness that lasts even throughout multiple runs. It should also be pointed out that this model features gender-specific cushioning, with men's sizes having a slightly higher platform and greater drop height than women's sizes. For added security, a TPU clip is attached to the heel to keep the foot locked into place and prevent wobbling.
The Hybrid Runner features a knitted fabric upper, giving a sock-like wear that’s perfectly lightweight and flexible. It wraps around the foot and enables complete breathability, focusing mainly on the forefoot and sides where hotspots occur most often. The interior lining is also seamless, which greatly reduces the likelihood of skin irritations. Instead of a separate tongue unit, this shoe has a one-piece opening for easier insertion and curved sides for more accurate ankle support. Though its printed-on overlays are quite minimal, only on the sides of the heel and at the base of the midfoot, they still provide necessary structure and support. Pull tabs are placed at the heel and instep, and a traditional lacing system features flat laces for a more secure fit.
Though these may seem lightweight just by looking at them, the Hybrid Runner actually weighs about as much as the typical high-quality running sneaker. Men's sizes average out at 11 oz., while women's sizes round out to just over 9 oz. This makes them on the higher side of average when compared to similar models. Still, many reviewers find them to be very easy to move around in. Whether they are working out indoors, going for a simple jog outside, or even wearing these shoes to work or casual settings, buyers say that they have never felt weighed down or uncomfortable at any point throughout the day.
One of the greatest benefits of the Hybrid Runner's knitted upper is that it provides an incredible amount of breathability. This sock-like material features a number of ventilation holes that are spread throughout, meaning that the runner will receive unrestricted airflow. However, due to the shoe's overlays and lacing system, it's focused more on the forefoot and sides where hotspots occur most often. The end result is a cooler and more comfortable wear, as well as a reduction in foot odor, blisters, and possible infections.
Runners are generally very happy with the Hybrid Runner's level of comfort. Its HYBRID midsole uses two of Puma's most advanced technologies to ensure that the underfoot is properly cushioned. While the IGNITE foam provides most of the cushioning and gives high levels of impact absorption, the NRGY enhances support, durability, and energy return. The knitted upper is paired with a seamless inner lining to ensure a comfortable sock-like wear that also gives completely unrestricted airflow. Though some have stated that they still feel pain after going on long distance runs, most are happy with how well it carries them through workouts and everyday activities.
Between the midsole's beaded design and the upper's heathered knitted fabric, the Hybrid Runner is an athletic shoe that can pair well with a number of different casual looks. Many reviewers have pointed out that the NRGY beads look a lot like Adidas' Ultra Boost midsole technology. However, a closer comparison shows that NRGY beads are more textured, and this version in particular makes them look almost like cobblestones. Puma's signature curved overlay and logo are both featured on the lateral side of the shoe. Most of the colorways available consist of black paired with an accent color such as red, orange, yellow, or aqua. There are also grey, white and blue options to choose from for both men's and women's sizes.

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Though online reviews don't give any real indication of how durable the Hybrid Runner is, this can still be determined by looking at its materials. Its outsole is covered with a simple rubber compound that withstands use on most everyday surfaces. Its HYBRID midsole is specially designed to last thanks to its use of INGITE foam and NRGY beads. The NRGY beads are particularly useful, as they are what helps the midsole maintain its overall structure. The upper's knitted fabric is created to be much sturdier than a standard mesh material, and the use of overlays further ensures that it keeps its shape for longer. Still, it's obvious that this shoe was not designed for rugged environments and should be put aside during hikes and trail runs.
On the surface, the Hybrid Runner doesn't appear to be a very protective running shoe. But a closer look shows that it actually protects the runner from several hazards that they might face during workouts and in casual settings. Its simple rubber outsole is enough to keep the rest of the shoe safeguarded against potential damage. Its incredibly responsive HYBRID midsole ensures that the runner will feel little-to-no pain or fatigue when they are finally finished with their runs. And the upper's unrestricted breathability keeps foot odor and infections at bay white its traditional lacing system and overlays lock the foot into place.
The use of two highly advanced midsole technologies ensures that the Hybrid Runner will have an incredibly responsive wear. The full-length IGNITE foam unit takes care of the impact absorption, greatly reducing the runner's levels of pain and fatigue. A large amount of NRGY beads completely covers the outer portion of this unit, performing the dual tasks of providing a higher rebound and allowing the midsole to better retain this shape. The end result is a smooth and secure wear that keeps the runner protected and powered up for miles. However, some reviewers do feel that this feature started to wear off after some time while they were on a long distance run.
Most reviewers seem to be satisfied with the Hybrid Runner's overall level of support. Of course, it all starts out with a proper amount of underfoot cushioning. Puma combines their IGNITE foam with NRGY bead to create a HYBRID midsole unit that equal parts comfortable, responsive, and durable. This makes it just as useful for workouts and casual runs as it is for everyday settings. The knitted upper wraps around the foot like a sock, and is aided by overlays and a traditional lacing system. Its one-piece opening is curved on the sides, allowing it to provide more accurate ankle support. The only major complaint from reviewers is that this shoe didn't provide enough adequate support for long distance runs. It's unclear if the midsole's gender-specific cushioning has had any impact on these reviews.
As a road running shoe, the Hybrid Runner was made to be used on both everyday surfaces and different types of roads. Its outsole tread pattern and rubber compound work together to provide a strong and stable grip on concrete and cement. Its HYBRID midsole provides the necessary cushioning, shock absorption, and energy return for both outdoor runs and indoor workouts. And the breathability of its knitted upper make it an especially good choice for warmer weather. It also goes without saying that this shoe is not designed for trail running or other high-intensity outdoor sports.
When compared to similar models sold by Adidas and Nike, the cost of the Hybrid Runner is actually quite reasonable. Most high-quality running shoes are priced between $120 and $130. But on every single online retailer, from Zappos to Puma's own website, this shoe is sold for only $100. Several reviewers say that this is already impressive on its own. However, its high levels of comfort and durability, as well as its extremely versatile wear, make this model an even more impressive bargain for frequent runners.
The Hybrid Runner's level of traction doesn't appear to stand out to many reviewers. The fact that it's made with a standard rubber compound instead of one that's specially engineered makes it even more unremarkable. However, it's uniquely swirled tread pattern ensures a particularly strong grip when running across smooth concrete and cement surfaces. With that said, some reviewers have reported that it's traction does not function nearly as well on uneven surfaces. Others have also stated that it functions poorly on wet or slippery ground, which limits its usage extensively.
Though there's not much online information that indicates how flexible the Hybrid Runner is, its materials do give buyers some indication of this quality. While the NRGY beads focus more on durability, the INGIT foam focuses more on ensuring a completely smooth and natural gait cycle. The knitted upper, of course, provides the greatest amount of flexibility thanks to its sock-like fit and lack of any bulky overlays.
Because this shoe is meant to be used in both fitness and casual environments, the Hybrid Runner is able to strike the right balance between being agile and stable. The midsole's use of IGNITE foam and NRGY beads ensure a completely responsive wear that keeps the runner moving along smoothly and securely. Its knitted upper wraps around the foot for a sock-like fit and its minimal overlays are just enough to ensure that the shoe retains its shape. Its heel features a TPU clip and two triangular overlays on either side to aid the shoe's lacing system in keeping the foot locked into place.
Unlike most running shoes that are on the market, the Hybrid Runner has a gender-specific heel-to-toe drop height. Men's sizes have a 12mm drop height, while this feature on women's sizes measures 10mm. Though both ranges give substantial heel cushioning, men's sizes provide extra for those who are overweight. And, according to online reviews, neither of these measurements impede on the runner's natural gait cycle.
Key Features
-Basic rubber compound outsole
-HYBRID midsole combines IGNITE and NRGY
-Gender-specific cushioning unit
-Knitted fabric upper for a sock-like wear
-TPU heel clip for a more stable wear
-One-piece opening and heel pull tabs
-Traditional lacing system features flat laces
-Gender-specific cushioning and drop height
Bottom Line
All-in-all most reviewers seem to be very happy with the Puma Hybrid Runner. Between its midsole's responsive cushioning and its upper's breathable sock-like wear, buyers have a shoe that they can easily wear for indoor workouts, outdoor runs, and as an everyday shoe. Some did point out its less-than-stellar traction on both wet and uneven surfaces, and others felt that this model didn't perform as when during long distance runs. Still, the average fitness enthusiast would definitely find this to be a useful, comfortable, and versatile piece of footwear.
Where to Buy
By Jessica Pilla
Last updated:
Where to buy
Best offer on: Jul. 26. 2021

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